Return Of The Great Power
Book 2 - Revelations
Chapter 2: Coping Again
Rating: MA
By: Pink_Green_White_4ever
Last Revised: December 20, 2004

Email: pink_green_white_4ever@yahoo.com
Website: A Blast From The Past

"My darling girl, when are you going to understand that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage". ~~ Aunt Frances, from the movie "Practical Magic"

~*~

Angel Grove International Airport
2:00 P.M.
Tuesday
July 16, 2002

"United Airlines, Flight 2412 from Los Angeles, now arriving at gate B13," an airline employee announced over the intercom to the people waiting in the terminal. Five minutes later, a stream of passengers disembarked from the large plane at the gate.

One of the last passengers to enter the airport was a tall, blonde haired, blue eyed young woman dressed in a pair of designer blue jeans, a white tank top, a pale pink over shirt, and a pair of pink tennis shoes, toting a small suitcase with wheels, a hot pink back pack and a slim, black briefcase. To most, she looked like a typical twenty-something young woman traveling, but she was anything but typical.

Once Katherine managed to get her bearings - she'd had more layovers and delays on this trip home then ever before - she looked around the gate area she'd walked off the plane into, searching for familiar faces. Her parents were out of town on their monthly retreat to Santa Barbara, so she knew they wouldn't be picking her up. Jason had told her the night before, during their conversation, that he'd be there to pick her up and take her home, and yet, the newly minted Green Morphin' Ranger and the love of Katherine's life was nowhere to be seen. Frowning, Katherine decided that she was self-sufficient enough to make her way down to the baggage carousels and get her luggage, her mind going over the appropriate scolding she was going to give her boyfriend when she saw him next.

Taking a deep breath, she started to move forward, turning the corner on her left, before she abruptly stopped. Staring back at her were her friends - Billy, Zack and Adam were smiling widely, holding up a huge white banner with orange writing that said 'Welcome Home Kat'. Trini, Aisha, and Tanya were holding several new stuffed animals that looked suspiciously like small versions of Kat's animal spirit, the Tiger, while Justin, Rocky and Kimberly stood to the other side of the sign, each holding a set of welcome home balloons. The two figures in the front - Tommy and Jason - were each holding a bouquet of flowers for her. Tommy's was an assortment of flora, including white, gold and pink roses, red, purple and yellow carnations, orange tiger lilies - which made Kat laugh - and to top it off, it was tied with beige, turquoise, black, and green ribbons.

Jason's flowers were simple - orange Roses and Tiger Lilies, with baby's breath accenting them. Tommy moved forward, handing her the flowers while taking her backpack, briefcase and suitcase, allowing her to walk to Jason. Throwing caution to the wind, Kat ran the last few steps to her boyfriend at full speed, jumping into his open arms. "Welcome home, Kat Lady!" Jason whispered in her ear before pulling back and giving her a smacking kiss on the lips.

"It's good to be home," Kat smiled, pulling back and accepting greetings from her other friends.

"Guys, let's go," Trini started. "I'm sure Kat's hungry and tired."

"You got that right, girlfriend."

~*~

Kwan-Taylor-Hillard Household
2:45 P.M.

"Oh wow!" Kat gasped as Jason and Trini showed her into her room at the beach house.

The Asian woman smiled. "Zack's taken the basement, he's turning it into a bedroom and practice studio. I've got the other room up here, but we figured you'd like the master suite, all things considered." Kat didn't miss the snicker or the glare that was shared between Trini and Jason.

"Trini, you guys shouldn't have!"

Trini merely waved her off. "Get settled. Billy's ordering Chinese as we speak, then we'll have dinner and watch movies." That said, the Turquoise Ranger moved for the door, leaving Jason and Kat standing in the room all on their own.

~*~

3:15 P.M.

Jason and Kat wandered downstairs, hand in hand, searching for the others.

They found Billy, Trini, Zack, Adam and Tanya relaxing in the television room. Aisha and Rocky were in the dining room with Justin discussing teaching plans for Justin at Rocky's Dojo. And when the pair finally stepped out onto the back deck, they found Kim and Tommy standing on the beach below, wrapped in each other's arms. "They look happy," Kat murmured, leaning against Jason's shoulder, her arm around his waist.

"They're getting there," Jason smiled. "She still hasn't told him everything that happened, but he's working on her."

Kat nodded. "She's been through a lot, but Kim's the most resilient woman I've ever met."

"That she is," Jason chuckled. "Happy to be home?" he asked, pecking a kiss to her forehead.

"You have no idea. Could you do me a huge favor?" Kat started, raising her head to look into Jason's eyes.

"Anything."

"Stay with me tonight?" Jason looked slightly shocked. "Jase, I've missed you holding me. Just for tonight, stay with me," she pleaded.

Jason smiled and nodded, holding her tighter to his side. "Of course.

~*~

"Jason looks happy," Tommy smiled.

"So does Kat."

Nodding his agreement, Tommy tucked Kim closer into his side. "It's about time for them too, huh?"

Kim giggled. "He's always been the lone Ranger, no pun intended."

Tommy nodded. "Emily and him was just so brief that I'd have to agree with you there. It's funny how he seemed to be the only one of us that didn't have a steady girlfriend, or steady stream of girlfriends, during high school."

"I know. Scary thought, Billy had more dates then Jason." Tommy shook his head, laughing at her comment.

Kim sighed, loving the feel of his arms around her. "Are you happy?" Tommy suddenly asked.

Stunned, Kimberly looked up into his face to see if he was really serious or not. "Tommy? Of course I'm happy! I haven't been this happy since before I left the team. Why would you ask something like that?"

The look on Tommy's face nearly made Kim's heart shatter. "Kim."

He was scared - scared of losing her again, scared of losing what they had. It was the first time she had ever seen real fear in his eyes. "I love you, have always loved you. Don't doubt that. It's taken me nearly six years to figure out that you're the one, the only one."

Tommy nodded but deep down the fear still resided. He knew without a doubt he would never recover if he lost her a second time. "Guys! Dinner!" Jason called from the deck behind them.

Kim held out her hand, waiting for Tommy to take it. She smiled her brightest smile when his larger hand engulfed her smaller one. "I love you."

Tommy grinned. "I love you too."

~*~

6:00 P.M.

The group sighed as they plopped down in the television room. "Zack, I love your big screen," Kat laughed as Zack wiggled his eyebrows.

"Me too. So what do we want to watch?" Zack asked.

"Nothing scary, I'd like to sleep tonight," Kat muttered.

"And not Top Gun again, we've seen it a million times," Aisha complained, trying to get comfortable next to Rocky just in front of the loveseat, where Trini and Billy curled together.

"The Fast and The Furious," Zack laughed.

"Spider Man," Adam grinned.

"Braveheart," Tanya suggested, making the other girls sigh at the thought of Mel Gibson while the boys rolled their eyes.

Kat snuggled closer into Jason's side, her stomach settling from the food she'd just ate while the others went back and forth about which movie to watch.

"Independence Day." All eyes swung toward Justin.

"As if we don't fight enough alien ass, now you want to watch Will Smith do it too?" Rocky pondered as Justin shrugged.

Kim fixed Rocky with a glare. ďWasnít it you who suggested going to see MIB II the other night?Ē

"Pearl Harbor," Kat put her two cents in, hoping to ward off a fight.

"Too sad," Rocky frowned. "Planet of the Apes?"

"Don't even think it, Ape Boy," Aisha fired back. "Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood."

"We are not watching a girlie movie!" Rocky argued.

Billy shook his head. "How about A Beautiful Mind?"

"Boogie Nights," Trini suggested, only to be hit with a barrage of pillows from the boys.

Jason shook his head. "Justin's too young for that one." At the Green Ranger's comment, Justin shot him a glare. "How about 13 Ghosts?"

"Too scary!" Kat and Kim spoke in unison.

Kimberly looked over the side of the recliner she and Tommy were sitting in at the movies on the floor before turning her attention back to Tommy. "Baby, what do you think?"

"I say Wind Talkers, but that's just me," Tommy laughed. "What about you, Beautiful?"

"The Musketeer," Kim started. "We all like martial arts, it's got some romance, it actually does have a decent story line and the actors and actresses aren't bad on the eyes either."

The others cracked up laughing. "The Musketeer it is," Zack started as he popped the dvd into the player.

~*~

9:30 P.M.

Justin and Rocky were leaning back against the wall behind Aisha's chair, Zack sat between Aisha and Trini, who conveniently was sitting in Billy's lap, and Tanya and Adam sat on the other side of the couple, mimicking the Blue and Turquoise Rangers' pose. Kimberly and Kat had taken the final two seats, with Jason and Tommy looming behind them. "Ok, T-man, spill it," Rocky started, urging Tommy to get on with this late night conversation.

"Well, we have something that needs group approval," Tommy spoke, watching several eyebrows go up. "When Justin and I stopped by my parents' house for dinner a few nights ago, my parents cornered me and asked me point blank what the heck was going on."

"What are you talking about?" Zack asked, looking up at Tommy in confusion.

"Seems my uncle and several other people have mentioned to them my disappearing act the last couple of weeks. You guys all know how my mom is, so guess what the first thing was she asked me?" Tommy watched his friends shrug, and then his eyes went to his girlfriend, who was shaking her head in disbelief.

"She asked if you were a Ranger again, didn't she?" Ten sets of eyes widened at the question that came from Kimberly's mouth.

"How would she know?" Tanya asked softly.

Kim chuckled at that. "Oh, Elizabeth had a pretty good idea right after Tommy suddenly developed an interest in green, and it didn't take her too long with the six of us hanging out together for her to come to a conclusion. You have to admit, being a Ranger makes you more prone to your color." The group nodded. "She asked Tommy point blank about it right after I lost my powers. I was with him the day it happened. While we told her we couldn't go into detail for her own safety, we pretty much gave her an answer."

"Bingo. The problem I see we're going to have is this - do we keep our identities a secret again and have those closest to us mad for our disappearing act, or do we break tradition and tell at least our parents?"

"Group vote?" Adam asked, which caused Tommy to nod.

"The only problem I see is Justin's parents," Katherine softly replied. "They're going to be terribly upset by this. I mean, all of the rest of our parents will accept it, they'll be mad when they find out we were Rangers before now, but they know we're all adults. Justin's parents aren't going to be as understanding." All eyes turned toward Justin.

The youngest Ranger nodded, swallowed, and then began to speak. "Kat's right, but they have a right to know what's going on, should we come to the decision to tell them."

Billy's voice brought the side discussions to a halt. "We need to tell them," he told the others. "It's not a matter of us being too young, because really, none of us are, including Justin. He's the same age most of us were when we first became Rangers. All of us have seen and experienced far too much to not tell them. Besides, I think it'll make covering for our sudden disappearances easier."

The group consensus was agreement to Billy's reasoning. "Then I'm going to make a command decision here," Tommy began. "Use your best judgment, but those of you who want to tell your parents, go ahead and do so."

Zack, Aisha, Rocky, Kat, Billy, Trini, Jason, Tanya and Adam nodded. Justin swallowed but then nodded as well. All eyes went to where Kimberly sat unmoving. "Beautiful?"

"I'm not telling my parents," Kimberly finally responded. "They'd never understand, for starters. Second, they'd never accept it as a part of who and what I am." At that, Kim's eyes rose from looking at the table to look at each of her teammates. Because she couldn't see Tommy, she grabbed his hand, which was resting on her shoulder, gave it a squeeze, and continued. "Third, they haven't cared enough about my life the last couple of years, not really, for this to be something I could share with them. After the incident with Mike, they pretty much dropped out of sight. I will not endanger our lives, or theirs, by telling them."

Jason bent down between Kim and Kat's chairs, his hand resting on Kimberly's arm. "It's your decision, Kim," Jason told her softly. "I'd like all of you there when I tell my parents, though. They care about, and love, all of you just as much as they do me."

"We could have a small gathering at the house," Billy suggested. "Invite everyone's parents, tell them at once."

"I'd like to tell my parents in the next couple of days, but I'm sure they won't mind showing up for moral support," Tommy verbalized his thoughts.

Standing, Jason cleared his throat. "So are we all in agreement?" The room remained silent, but eleven other heads nodded.

~*~

2:00 A.M.
Wednesday
July 17, 2002

"Must be nice to be able to pick your girlfriend up if and when you want to," Rocky grumbled at Tommy as the Red Ranger attempted to wake up the sleeping Aisha.

"You could pick Sha up if you tried," Tommy shot back.

"She'd kick my ass if I did."

Tommy laughed, cradling his Pink Princess in his arms on the couch. After their group meeting, most everyone else had either gone home or disappeared upstairs. Jason and Kat were in one of the recliners, Rocky and Aisha had taken up residence on the loveseat when Billy and Trini had headed to bed, and Tommy and Kim had claimed the couch, with Justin sitting on the floor in front of them

"I'm staying here tonight, and so is Billy. All you've got to worry about is Justin and Kim."

Tommy nodded in Jason's direction. "Just, you ready to leave?"

"Yeah," came the yawned reply. Tommy got to his feet, keeping Kim close to his body. Justin took the keys to Tommy's Navigator and rushed ahead to unlock the doors while Tommy said goodbye to the others.

~*~

Katís Room
2:30 A.M.

Kat yawned softly as she snuggled into the covers of her bed. Between the jet lag, dinner, and watching movies with her friends, she was practically dead on her feet. 'I am so happy to be home, in my own bed' she sighed mentally.

When her bathroom door opened, her eyes popped open. A gentle smiled played across her features as she caught sight of Jason, dressed in nothing but a pair of green boxers. "You still awake?" Jason questioned as he crawled under the covers and pulled her into his arms.

"Barely." Jason chuckled. She sounded so tired.

"Go to sleep, Kitty," he murmured in her ear, his arms holding her close to his chest.

~*~

Trini's Room

Billy looked around Trini's room and nodded his approval. "You like it?" Trini asked, as she got ready for bed. Her room had been done in an underwater theme with dolphins, whales, and other sea creatures. It had taken Kimberly nearly three days to finish the mural.

"It is quite tasteful, Trini," he told her before he moved to his side of her bed. "Did Kimberly help with it?"

Trini nodded. "Took her three days to do it. Don't tell me you're gonna sleep in your clothes?" Trini asked, looking at Billy, who was pulling the covers down on his side. He was still dressed in his jeans and polo shirt.

"No, I do not sleep in clothes, but tonight I think it best if I at least slept in my boxers." Billy watched in amused fascination as Trini blushed.

"You're probably right." With that, Trini slid under the covers. Billy joined her a moment later, pulling her close to him as they settled down for the night.

~*~

Tanya and Adamís Apartment

"Adam!" Tanya's breathy exclamation filled the air of their bedroom. Her arms were locked around Adam's neck and her legs held tightly to his waist.

After they'd gotten home, they'd felt the sudden need to make love to one another. Adam moved slowly, trying to draw out their pleasure instead of rushing headlong into it. It still amazed him that when he was with Tanya, their bodies intertwined as they were now, that being together intimately was still as magical as the first time.

After they'd both reached the highest point of pleasure, they settled down to sleep. Tanya sighed, her fingers curling into Adam's hair. They'd been so busy the last few days, she thought, that they hadn't had time to partake in such activities. "Better?" she questioned softly, a smile on her face.

Adam sighed happily. "Yeah. You?"

Tanya giggled. "I'm more relaxed than I have been in days."

Adam smiled against her skin, as he had his head resting on her chest, before he leaned up and pecked a kiss to her lips. He rolled off her and onto the bed, carefully pulling her into his arms.

~*~

Rockyís Apartment

"Love you," Rocky murmured softly in Aisha's ear as they settled down to sleep in his room.

"Love you too," Aisha whispered back, enjoying having Rocky spooned behind her, his strong arms wrapped around her in protection. She lay awake for the longest time afterward, simply basking in his presence before she dropped into oblivion.

~*~

Cranston-Scott-Oliver Household
3:20 A.M.

Tommy lay with his right hand propping his head up as he stared down at Kimberly's sleeping form. She'd had a massive nightmare in the truck on the way home. Tommy knew he'd been lucky that they'd been pulling into the driveway with the way she'd scared him and Justin by yelling and thrashing in her seat as she had. 'God, Kim, what aren't you telling me?' he thought silently.

When Kimberly shifted in her sleep, he snapped from his thoughts. She was wearing a silk nightshirt, which was now tight across her chest because of how she was laying. Tommy felt his boxers tighten when he saw that whatever she was dreaming about had cause her nipples to stiffen into tiny points.

If seeing his girlfriend aroused like that wasn't enough, Tommy got a shock when Kim's legs intertwined with his and he felt her wet panties against his thigh.

"Tommy," she moaned softly, shifting her body slightly.

Tommy groaned with his appreciation and the effort he was exerting to not touch and take advantage of her in her sleep. "Kimberly," he leaned over and whispered in her ear. "Beautiful."

Her eyes opened, and Tommy saw the dreams slowly clearing from the beloved brown depths. "Tommy," she moaned again, finally realizing what she'd done in her sleep.

Smiling, Tommy brushed her bangs away from her face. "Good dream this time?" he asked, his smile turning from amused to roughish. Kimberly had the grace to blush at his comment.

"The best," she whispered. "Sorry if I molested you in my sleep."

Tommy shook his head at her. "I don't mind." Kim's eyes widened considerably as Tommy's hand caressed her thigh. "Do you mind?"

Kimberly could only shake her head as he continued to touch her lovingly. It had been a long time, years in fact, since she'd been touched intimately and hadn't had fear clutch her insides. "I don't want to scare you."

"You aren't," she bit back a moan as she answered him, her body straining towards his like it hadn't since their teenage years.

"Kim?"

"Tommy, please," she pleaded softly.

Leaning forward, Tommy kissed her, and then slid his fingers under the silk that hid her center. Kim's body arched when she felt his fingers against her core. "You're so wet, Beautiful," Tommy murmured against her lips, amazed to feel her as he hadn't since their last Christmas together.

Kimberly felt alarmed at her allowance of Tommy touching her so, but her heart soared. He was being so tender and patient with her. "Oh God! Tommy!" she gasped. Kim hadn't realized until just now, how much she wanted to be this intimate with him again, especially considering what had happened with Mike.

Tommy's fingers stroked her insides, his thumb caressing the little nub of nerves that had her lithe body coming up off the bed in an uncontrollable bucking motion. Before Kimberly had a chance to take it all in, her muscles contracted in climax. "Tommy!" her voice came out, hitched with emotion. Tommy smiled at her as he continued to stroke her center until she had calmed down.

"Feel better?" Kimberly could only nod, noticing briefly the smirk on his face. "Good."

"Tommy," she started, finally able to move so that they were heart to heart.

"I don't have any," Tommy murmured painfully. He wanted nothing more than to ease himself into her, as he hadn't since that last Christmas, but he wouldn't risk getting her pregnant, not now that they were once again on active duty.

"What about you?" she breathlessly asked, feeling his arousal against her stomach.

Tommy smiled and kissed her cheek. "I'll be okay," he told her, though he knew he really wouldn't. He'd wait until she was asleep before he stole away into the bathroom to take care of his problem.

"Lay on your back," Kim firmly told him, not giving him any room to argue.

"Kim!" he cried out when she yanked his boxers down and quickly wrapped her mouth around his manhood. Tommy had only dreamt about her doing this for years; he'd never actually expected her to do it for real.

Kim put what little knowledge she had about giving oral pleasure to work. By the way Tommy's hips started moving, she knew she must have been doing something right.

Tommy's mind completely shut down except for thinking about his Kimberly giving him head. Not in a million years did he think it would feel this good. When they'd been together before, they had never ventured beyond normal intercourse. "Oh God!" he whined softly, digging his fingers into Kim's silky locks, holding her close to him.

When she felt the slightly salty liquid coming from his tip, Kim smiled. Knowing instinctively that he was near completion, she began to caress him faster and harder with her lips and tongue, all the while pumping her hand up and down the rest of his length.

Tommy gave a strangled cry when he finally hit flash point. Kim grinned against him, keeping her mouth around him until he stopped shaking. While Tommy lay on the bed, resting, Kimberly snuck into the bathroom to rinse out her mouth with mouthwash and brush her teeth. When she returned, Tommy opened his eyes and looked up at her lovingly. "Better?" she giggled. Tommy took a shuddering breath and nodded.

"Kimberly."

Suddenly, it seemed as though Kimberly had lost whatever nerve she'd worked up. She knew, though, that if she didn't do it now, she'd never be able to tell him. "Tommy."

"What's wrong, Beautiful?"

Swallowing the lump in her throat, Kim took a deep breath and started talking. "I'm ready to tell you what happened."

Tommy saw the fear, the sadness in her eyes. "You don't have to do that if you really aren't ready."

Kim nodded but continued. "If you and I are going to go further physically, I have to." Tommy remained silent and supportive as Kim crawled onto the bed and cuddled into his arms. "I don't want to get into great detail, cause I know that I'm not ready for that, but I'm ready to tell you."

"Beautiful, you know I'm here for you, and I love you. Always and forever."

"I know." Taking a deep breath, she started. "Mike and I never got intimate, you were my only, and the night he put me into a coma, he raped me."

Kim sniffled when Tommy's arms tightened around her. "Oh God, Kimberly," he choked out. "Why didn't you tell me before I touched you? I don't want to hurt you, ever."

Shifting, Kimberly looked up into his eyes. "I love you, now and always. You couldn't hurt me, that's why I told you now. There's more, but you get the jest."

Tommy held her as tight as he could without hurting her. "I love you, and I will help you get passed this."

"You have been," Kim murmured, falling back asleep.

~*~

A horn honking in the distance caused Kimberly to jerk awake. "Oh no!" Kim cried softly, noting the time on the clock. It had been just after three when she and Tommy had crawled into bed, the clock on the DVD player read quarter after four in the morning. "It was a dream, everything that just happened was a dream!"

Tommy was instantly awake when Kimberly started shuddering and crying. Not sure what was happening, the White Ranger reached out to pull her into his arms and gasped when his girlfriend recoiled from him in alarm. "Kim? Beautiful? What's wrong?"

"Nothing!" she sobbed, stumbling from the bed toward the bathroom, where she slammed the door shut before sliding down it to sit on the floor, her arms wrapped around her legs and her head buried in her knees.

"Kimberly!" Tommy called out, pounding on the door softly. "Come on, Baby, open the door and tell me what's wrong."

"Go away!"

"Kim?"

~*~

Kwan-Taylor-Hillard Household
7:00 A.M.

"Is she ok?" Jason asked, answering his cell phone as he sat up against the headboard of Kat's bed.

"She says she is, but it makes me wonder," Tommy told him. "She won't talk to me, and after she woke up, she stayed up."

"What time was that?"

"A little after four. She's been going a mile a minute since. She's cleaned the kitchen, all the bathrooms, the living room, the television room, and she's working on the weight room as we speak."

"Damn. Have you tried poking into her head?" Jason asked, referring to the team's new mental link with each other.

"I thought about it, but it's an invasion of her privacy, and we all agreed not to use our powers like that."

Jason sighed. He knew Tommy was right, but when it came to his little sister, he'd go to any length to make sure she was ok. "Look, I'll talk to Trini when she gets up. Maybe she can call and talk to Kim."

"I hope so, Jase. I hate seeing her like this."

"I know. I'll call for a status report in a bit, k?"

"Sure. Later."

Jason shut his phone off and leaned his head back. "What's wrong?" Katherine asked as she sat up, touching Jason's wrist softly.

"Kim woke up at four o'clock this morning from a nightmare and won't go back to sleep. Tommy says she's on a cleaning binge and that she won't tell him what's wrong."

"I'm sure Trini's up by now," Kat looked into his eyes, letting him know she'd heard his suggestion to Tommy. "Why don't we go talk to her?"

Jason nodded. "She's worrying me, Kat. Kim's never like this unless the problem is overwhelming her."

Katherine smiled gently for him. "I know. Let's go."

~*~

Trini's Office
10:30 A.M.

Trini sat at her desk, gazing at a picture of her and Kimberly and Aisha shortly after Kim had gotten out of the hospital. Shaking her head, the raven haired Ranger grabbed the headset of her phone and dialed Kim's cell number, not wanting to let Tommy or Justin know she was trying to pry information out of the distraught Pink Ranger.

"Kimberly Hart speaking."

"Hey Shorty," Trini greeted, hoping to ease Kim's mind about the sudden call.

"Long Legs, what's up?" Kim asked with a giggled. On the surface, Trini noted, everything seemed fine. However, years of friendship and closeness afforded Trini the ability to hear the small hitch in Kim's voice.

"What's going on with you?" Trini demanded softly, quickly getting to the point. If she were to beat around the bush about this, Kim would stall for time in telling her what was wrong. "You've got Kat, Jase and T-man freaking out. I had a pow-wow in my room this morning before I'd even opened my eyes."

Kim sighed. She really hadn't wanted to talk about it. "It wasn't a nightmare, per say."

"What was it?"

"In my dream, I finally told Tommy about what happened; he was so understanding. Then I woke up and found him sound asleep next to me and the clock was only like an hour passed when we'd gotten home and into bed. I freaked."

Trini sighed on the other end. She had a feeling it had to do with Florida. "Let me guess, you lost your nerve to tell him?"

"Trini, I wanted nothing more than to let him take all the pain and fear away like only he can."

"You need to tell him."

"I know. He's so mad at me right now," Kim sniffed.

"No, he's not. He's upset that you won't tell him, he's worried that he's done something wrong, and he's anxious because he can't seem to figure out a way to fix whatever's upsetting you," Trini sighed in exasperation. When it came to Tommy in moments like this, Kimberly could be infuriatingly naÔve sometimes. "Might I suggest dinner for two so you can explain the situation to him? Jason said he was really hurt."

"I know why too. It was more than me not telling him what was wrong."

"What then?"

"I wouldn't let him touch me," Kim whispered. "Otherwise, I knew I'd crumble."

"Kim."

~*~

Cranston-Scott-Oliver Household
12:30 P.M.

Tommy eyed her carefully as she made him and Justin some lunch. Ever since Trini's call, she'd been acting more and more normal. "Justin, why don't you take your lunch in the other room and watch a movie."

"Sure." The younger Ranger knew his teammates and friends needed time to talk.

"Tommy," Kim started as she turned to him. Tommy was out of his chair in under a second, arms wrapped around her.

"Beautiful."

"I'm sorry about my attitude this morning, but I knew if you'd touched me before I calmed down, I'd have lost it."

Tommy kissed the top of her head and let her talk. "Does it have to do with whatever you haven't told me about the incident with Mike?"

"Yes," Kim choked. Tommy sighed. He knew she'd had an extraordinary amount of trauma she'd gone through during their separation, but this was bordering on insane. If she kept this bottled inside, Tommy knew, she'd only continue to have trouble getting passed it. However, he also knew that pushing her to tell him wasn't the answer.

"I'm not going to push you, but I want you to know I'm here if you need to talk."

"Thank you," Kim told him, looking up into those loving chocolate brown eyes of his. Seeing the need in her eyes, Tommy leaned down and kissed her lips, softly at first but with increasing passion. Although he could sense her hesitancy, Tommy could feel her desire for him overriding it. He was only slight startled by the intensity of what he was feeling from her over their link. Years apart could not temper what had been there from the start, they had only managed to increase it in depth and intensity.

"Leave lunch until later," Tommy groaned against her lips. "Let's go upstairs and lay down for a few."

When Kimberly pulled back, she was grinning from ear to ear. "You sure?"

"Yeah." Laughing, the pair quickly put away lunch and then raced up the stairs to their room.

~*~

3:00 P.M.

"Well?" Jason asked when Tommy plopped down on the couch next to Kat.

Tommy's chocolate eyes took in his friend's green clad form before he answered him. Jason, like the others, was anxious to know if things were okay between their Pink and White Rangers. "She's asleep," Tommy yawned, finally feeling the emotional and physical strain. "We talked. She explained what was going on this morning but still hasn't told me what happened."

"She probably won't for a while," Trini spoke softly from her spot curled up in Billy's lap in a recliner. "She told me her dream made her loose her nerve."

"I don't want to push her, but I need to know so I can help," Tommy argued.

"Tommy, there isn't anything you can do," Aisha said as she walked in from the kitchen and handed him a can of Pepsi. "She's got to work through this on her own. All any of us can do is make sure she knows we're here, that we're not going anywhere, and that we love her."

"I hate being helpless like this, especially where she's concerned."

"We know," Billy told him.

"TOMMY!"

The group looked shocked as Kim's terrified cry rang through the house. Tommy shot up off the couch and took the stairs three at a time.

~*~

4:45 A.M.
Thursday
July 18, 2002

Tommy held her to him as she slept. She hadn't slept much, having woken every hour or so from a nightmare. He was glad she was asleep now, and even more grateful he didn't have a class until six in the evening. "Beautiful, I wish there was something I could do to help."

Tommy smiled when Kimberly snuggled closer to him in her sleep. "Tommy," she murmured in her sleep. Tommy smiled as her legs intertwined with his own.

The young man sighed as he felt his body start to betray him in response to Kimberly's closeness. It didn't help when he could feel her arousal through her thin, lacey panties. "God, Kim, you're torturing me," Tommy muttered before closing his eyes in an attempt to go to sleep.

Only when she felt his body relax, did Kim open her eyes. She looked at him and smiled sadly. "I'm trying, Baby, really, I am. Thank you for being patient with me." With that, Kim laid her head on Tommy's chest and tried to go to sleep.

~*~

7:30 A.M.

"I feel like crap," Trini muttered as she trudged into the kitchen. Justin, Kat and Kimberly were already up and making breakfast. "Curse you morning people!"

Justin blinked in shock while Kat and Kim laughed. "Sit, Trini, I'll get you some coffee," Kim told her, moving from the stove to the cabinet to get a cup then to the coffee maker on the counter, pouring the dark liquid into the cup before handing it to the grumpy Turquoise Ranger.

"Pink, I owe you one!" Trini cried out in content as the coffee slid down her throat. "Ah, caffeine!"

The trio making breakfast laughed. "So, who do you think will be up first?" Kat suddenly questioned.

"Billy." Kim smiled. "Other than me, he's the only other early riser living in this house."

"Yeah," Justin chimed in. "Normally, I'm still asleep." Justin grinned.

"Alright, pancakes or waffles?" Kim asked as she sat the bacon on a plate of paper towels then placed the plate in the microwave before turning to look at the others.

"Waffles!" the trio chorused. Kim laughed, heading to the freezer, where she pulled a box from inside. Popping four into the toaster, Kim turned to start making the eggs.

"Good morning," Billy and Jason called out as the pair entered the kitchen together. Billy immediately went over and pecked a kiss to Trini's head before heading for the cabinet for cups for him and Jason.

"Morning!" Kat chirped, kissing Jason on the lips when he was close enough.

"So how long before Tommy wakes up?" Justin joked.

"It'll be after lunch, more than likely. He didn't fall asleep until about five this morning."

"Why so late?" Trini asked, buttering her waffles and dousing them in syrup.

"He stayed up and watched over me," Kim informed them. "I had a couple more nightmares last night."

Kat frowned. "You should see someone about that."

"What am I gonna tell a doctor? Oh hey, by the way, I use to be the Pink Ranger, but I lost my powers, then gave them up after I got them back to go train for Pan Globals in Florida, where I fell for an asshole who nearly killed me. And to top it off, I'm the Pink Ranger again and I still canít find a way to tell the man I love what happened to me." The group stared at Kim as she sat down and dug into her eggs and bacon.

Kat blinked then chuckled. "Good point."

Kim grinned, feeling content enough to be able to joke with her friends again. "They'd throw me in a padded room for sure."

"Morning." The group of six turned to stare at Tommy, who stood in the doorway half dressed and still partially asleep.

"Morning Baby," Kim greeted, moving from her seat to where he stood. "Hungry?"

"Yep," Tommy mumbled, moving with her so that they met halfway. When she was close enough, he pecked a kiss to the top of her head. Needing more contact, Kimberly wrapped her arms around his waist and cuddled close to him.

"Are you even awake, Bro?" Jason finally asked.

Tommy rolled his eyes and yawned. "Barely, but I promised Uncle John I'd come help with that new car today."

Kim frowned as she craned her neck so she could look into Tommy's eyes. "Tommy, you haven't gotten enough sleep to go drive a car."

"Good thing I'm not driving one, huh?" he grinned down at her. It warmed him that she was worried about him.

"Huh?"

"Working on the motor and the decals for Chris' car. Can you drive me? I know you and Sha were gonna go hang out together."

Kim laughed, letting a wicked grin spread across her face. "Sure. Does that mean I get to drive that nice Navigator of yours?"

Shaking his head, Tommy replied, "I suppose it does, seeing how you don't have a car." When Kim's face lit up like a child's at Christmas, Tommy grinned.

"Enough mush!" Justin grumbled, bouncing a waffle off of Tommy's head. "Let's eat already!" Tommy looked put out at Justin's betrayal, which only caused the others to laugh.

~*~

The Command Chamber
9:00 A.M.

"I'm picking something up on the scanner," Alpha 6 suddenly informed his fellow robot. "It appears to be a large ship, which is orbiting Earth."

"Why didn't it register before now?" Alpha 5's sharp question had Alpha 6 looking up at him.

"Cloaking device, more than likely."

Alpha 5 stared at the screen where the readings were appearing. "Keep monitoring it. If something changes, alert the Rangers."

Alpha 6 shook his head and looked back to his console. "You got it, 5."

~*~

Angel Grove Lake
2:30 P.M.

"It's so nice out!" Kim happily sighed as she and Aisha lounged on the beach at Angel Grove Lake. They had spent the better part of the morning browsing the mall, trying to get ideas for their rooms at the base as well as the rooms at the Boys' house that Kimberly had to decorate. They'd also looked into a vehicle for Kimberly, but until she got some money that was pretty much a no go.

"No kidding. This is how our last summer together should have gone." Aisha suddenly bit her lip, knowing that the summer before their senior year held painful memories for her friend. Admittedly, it held some very painful memories for Aisha herself, as she'd lost and gained so much in those short months.

"You aren't joking!" Kim laughed. "Too bad everyone else had to work."

Aisha laughed. "Speaking of work. My dad brought something to my attention yesterday when I went over."

"What?"

Aisha grinned. "There's a building, not far from Rocko's Dojo. It's for sale, and it's big enough for a moderate sized gym, a small interior design business and possibly a vet's office."

Kim looked at Aisha like she was nuts. "Aisha, it's impossible."

"We could make it work," Aisha argued. "A couple of the vets I worked with during school are looking to open another location. I could work part time with them and run the office of the design business the rest of the time. That would free you up to do gymnastics during the week and design on the weekends."

Kim considered. Aisha's idea was very enticing, however, practicality reared its ugly head. "One question."

"Hmm?"

"How are we going to pay for all of this?"

"Investors and loans," Aisha spoke seriously. Kim could tell she'd thought this through. "We could pull this off. Besides, it's not like you're going to need all that much in the way of equipment for the gym. You've always said you don't plan to train would-be Olympians if you opened your own place."

Kim nodded. "That's true. I want to train beginners. They're so much more fun then the elite gymnasts I've been working with the last couple of years."

"See," Aisha gestured her hands to make her point. "I've already talked to my parents, Grandma, and Aunt Tina. They said they'd loan us some money."

Kimberly looked thoughtful as she pondered Aisha's suggestion. "Let's look into this before we completely decide what we're gonna do, ok?"

Aisha's smile grew; Kim was hooked. "You got it."

~*~

Ivanís Ship
Same Time

"Elgar, Porto, Rygog, report to the bridge!" Divatox screeched, causing her three lackeys to scurry from their quarters to the bridge.

"Auntie D, what's up?" Elgar grinned.

When the three spotted Ivan and Maligore standing together, they stared to quake in fear. "Take this device, imbeciles!" Ivan growled, thrusting the handheld device at Porto. "Go to Angel Grove Lake, distract those two wretched female power geeks, and use this to start polluting the water."

"Is there a particular reason you want us to do this?" Rygog asked, not seeing the point in something so mundane.

"BECAUSE I SAID SO!" The three disappeared in a flash of light. "Now, let's study those wretched Rangers."

~*~

Angel Grove Lake
3:00 P.M.

"Unsuspecting humans!" Elgar grumbled as he, Porto, and Rygog spied on the two female Rangers camped out on the lake's beach. 'Sure are ugly! I wish they'd put their clothes back on.'

"I don't see why Goldar and the others couldn't handle this!" Rygog hissed.

"Because, Lord Ooze has sent them quite a few times already, and they can't get the job done," Porto rolled his eyes at them. "My scientific guess would be that he believes we can do better."

"Fine!" Elgar sighed.

"ATTACK!" Rygog commanded. The three began shooting energy bolts at the beach-goers.

"Damn!" Aisha gasped as she and Kimberly rolled to avoid the blasts. "Who are they?"

Kim looked up, her eyes narrowing at the sight of the three goons. "Divatox's henchmen, Rygog, Elgar and Porto!" Kim hissed as she and Aisha pushed up from their stomachs and dropped into fighting stances.

"Well, lookie here!" Elgar grinned. "You're that cream puff that ruined Auntie D's wedding to The Flame of Destruction."

"And you're that ugly ass who tried to feed me to a volcano," Kim shot back, and then turned to Rygog. "And you're the ass who did feed me to that lava-headed freak."

"I'll do it again, as soon as I get my hands on you."

"Back off!" Aisha hissed.

Rygog pushed Elgar at Aisha while he went after Kimberly, leaving Porto to carry out their plan to pollute the lake. "Damn!" Kim cursed as Rygog sent her skidding across the cement walkway.

"K, you alright?" Aisha called out as she kicked Elgar into the sand.

Kimberly struggled to her hands and knees, feeling her back scream in pain as she did so. Her head snapped up when she head Aisha scream out as Elgar and Rygog double-teamed her. "Sha!" Kim cried. Summoning all her abilities to block the pain from her body, Kim pushed herself to her feet. Taking a deep breath, Kimberly charged the ugly duo.

"No fair!" Elgar grumbled when Kim knocked him aside before attacking Rygog.

"Fair?" Kim growled angrily, turning on him. "Was it fair to double team an unarmed fighter?"

"She's a power geek!" Elgar argued.

"And you're an evil alien asshole bent on taking over Earth, so deal with it!" Kim yelled at him while dodging Rygog's attacks.

"Kim, we're out numbered and out gunned," Aisha gasped.

Kim nodded. "Let's do it!"

"NINJA RANGER POWER!" the two girls called out in unison.

"The Crane!"

"The Bear!"

Divatox's two idiots merely laughed at the two female Rangers. "They think they can take us on!" Elgar grinned.

"Careful Sha," Kimberly cautioned. Aisha nodded her understanding.

Fluidly, the two girls moved with familiarity and the ease of knowing each other's styles. However, three against two, even if Porto wasn't directly attacking them, left the girls tired, out numbered, and open to sneak attacks. "Alpha! We need help!" Aisha called into her communicator.

Suddenly, the Yellow Ninja felt herself flying through the air, thanks to Elgar, who had sucker punched her. However, she didn't land in the sand but in a pair of familiar arms. Looking up, Aisha smiled beneath her mask. "Nice timing, Jason."

"You're welcome, Sha."

Kimberly's scream of pain snapped the Yellow and Green Ninjas back to the present. "Divatox," Aisha supplied as he put her down.

Jason didn't even hear her because he was already running toward the fallen Pink Ninja. Rygog stumbled back several feet when Jason's green booted foot landed a strike dead center of his chest. "Pesky Ranger!"

"Kiss my ass!" Jason shot back as he spun around in a roundhouse kick that knocked Rygog to the ground.

"Jason!" Kim called out as he looked down at her. "Aisha's in trouble." Both Ninjas turned their head just in time to see Aisha hit the sand, hard, after attempting to stop Porto from getting to the water.

"Guys! He's trying to pollute the lake!" Aisha gasped.

"You help Aisha, I can handle Porto," Kim muttered.

"You sure?"

"You know I can!" Kim grinned under her head. Ignoring the pain in her back, the Pink Ninja pushed off the ground and ran toward Porto. The green dressed man noticed the way she moved and knew she was hurting. Unfortunately, he needed to turn his attention to the alien menace that Aisha was currently facing.

While the Green and Yellow Ninjas took on Elgar and Rygog, the Pink Ninja got between Porto and the water. "Don't even think it," the Pink Ninja growled in warning.

"We'll see!" Porto shot back. Right when he was about to fire the device in his hands, Kimberly stopped him.

"Pink Crane Tessens!" Instantly the steel fans were in Kimberly's hands. With an impressive amount of hand movement, the Pink Ninja twirled the fans in front of her, the edge of the one in her right hand slicing through Porto's device.

"No!"

Kim chuckled. "Oops, sorry." When a sudden rumbling caused Kim to gasp, Porto began laughing. Swallowing hard, the pink clad woman turned and saw that both Elgar and Rygog were now the size of the Mega Zords.

"Damn!" Jason winced, raising his wrist so he could talk into it. "Alpha 6, summon the others! We've got BIG trouble."

"Jase?" Aisha's trembling voice questioned as she and Kim grouped with their Green leader.

"It's Morphin' Time!" Jason called as the trio of Rangers assumed their morphing stance.

"PINK RANGER POWER!"

"YELLOW RANGER POWER!"

"GREEN RANGER POWER!"

Once the three were morphed, they nodded to each other. "We need Ninja Zord Power Now!"

"Ninja Crane Zord!" Kim called her zord, laughing as the familiar pink and white form flew into view.

"Ninja Bear Zord!" Aisha's helmet hid her grin when the black and yellow zord came rumbling onto the scene.

"Ninja Dragon Zord!" Jason swallowed hard as the new yet increasingly familiar form of his zord appeared, followed by a roar that made his ears ring.

The three Rangers jumped from the ground to their Zords, smiling to themselves as their chairs slid into position in their individual cockpits. "Jason, I don't see the others yet," Kim informed him as she fired up her weapons system and turned on her targeting scanners.

"Then we stall till they get here!" Jason's voice floated over the speakers in the cockpit of the Crane Ninja Zord.

"Easier said then done," Aisha replied, maneuvering her zord near their enemies.

Jason chuckled. "Well, give me a minute and I'll make it easier." The two female Rangers pondered that until they saw what Jason was talking about. "Green Dragon, Warrior Mode!"

The girls gasped and stared in wonder and amusement as the Dragon went from dragon mode to warrior mode. "Cool!" Aisha laughed. She remembered, just as she was sure Kim did, that Jason and Rocky's Red Dragon Thunder Zord had done the same thing.

"I didn't know that was possible with your Ninja Zord!" Kim cracked.

"Sis, we're Power Rangers, if there's anything I've learned from that, it's that anything's possible." The two girls rolled their eyes at the Green Ranger's words.

"Smart ass," Kim muttered before Aisha interrupted her.

"Here comes back up!" Aisha informed them as the other Zords came into view.

"I'm on my own," Jason told the girls as only four Zords could be made out - the Falcon, the Frog, the Ape, and the Wolf.

"You gonna be ok?" Kim suddenly asked, her voice filled with worry.

"I'll be fine. Get going."

Just when Jason was left to plan his battle strategy, Tommy's voice came across the communications system. "Jason, prepare for Falcon Zord docking sequence."

"Huh?" Jason asked, and then he saw the sequence appear on the monitor to his right. The Falcon Zord would dock on the back of the Dagon Zord, making Jason's machine appear as though it now had wings. "Whoa!" the Green Ranger cried as his chair began moving back. He was transported, much like during the Mega Zord sequence, to the chest of his zord where he and Tommy met.

"Ready?"

"What the hell?" Jason squeaked.

Tommy grinned. "Welcome to the Dragon Falcon MegaZord. Alpha 6 told me about it on my way over."

"Nice!" Jason quipped. "Won't the others need you though?"

"Nope. As long as the Falcon Zord is on, they're fine," Tommy laughed. "Besides, Kimberly's more than capable of piloting the MegaZord while the others take care of the rest of the systems." Jason nodded. "Ready to take out Diva Snot's goons?"

The two MegaZords began battling Elgar and Rygog. While they were doing that, the other five Rangers were on the ground trying to stop Porto.

"Purple Panther Rapier!"

"Orange Tiger Long Bow!"

"Gold Eagle Battle Axe!"

"Beige Puma Lance!"

"Turquoise Gazelle Glaive!"

Porto raised an eyebrow, suddenly seriously re-thinking his plan as the five Rangers stood with their weapons at the ready. "Later Rangers!" That said, Porto disappeared.

"You know, the bad guys are cowards!" Justin huffed as the five Rangers turned their attention to the Zord battle that was still going on.

~*~

Ivanís Ship
Same Time

"Cowards! That pitiful little power brat called us cowards!" Rita screeched.

"We'll show young Justin what it means to be a real coward," Ivan grinned. "For now, call back Rygog and Elgar."

~*~

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